Starting a new training and eating regime often resembles the wheels of the bus. Everything is running smoothly until the wheels come off, motivation plummets and you have just finished the entire tub of Ben & Jerry’s. What next? Here are six ways to bounce back from a cheat day (or two).
Write down your goals and why you want to achieve them. Focus on the short-term results, feelings and emotions of achieving your goals, as well as the long-term gains to your physical and mental well being. Make sure your goals are realistic and progressive based on what your baseline is, not someone else’s.
Whether it is scheduling a walk with your BFF or inviting your family over for a healthy meal, getting your friends and family involved in your vision will show them how dedicated you are so they’re less likely to cancel plans or bring over your favourite chocolate cake and sabotage your progress.
Rather than label the tub of ice cream or the Snickers bar as the devil, think of food in terms of ‘everyday’ or ‘sometimes’ foods. This will remove any feelings of guilt if you do ‘slip up’ making it much easier to move on from it. For some people, incorporating a cheat meal or cheat day avoids the feeling of deprivation and makes life more enjoyable. As long as your cheat day doesn’t become a cheat week where it may be harder to bounce back..
Asking why will help to heighten awareness and identify the triggers for losing motivation for a late night binge. Stress and a lack of shut eye are two of the major causes of consuming nutrient poor, energy dense foods so some simple lifestyle changes like going to bed an hour earlier or taking a relaxing bath may be just what you need!
Whether it is scheduling exercise sessions into your diary like a non-negotiable meeting or taking the time to do some batch cooking at the beginning of the week, planning is the key to success.
Falling off the wagon might seem like a slip up or a failure but all it shows is that you are human. Take it as a lesson, accept and move on.